Kids' Net access gets close scrutiny from Symantec

Symantec is developing a Web-based service that will let parents control almost all aspects of their child's Internet activity from anywhere in the world.

Symantec is developing a Web-based service that will let parents control almost all aspects of their child's Internet activity from anywhere in the world.

The rising use of instant-messaging programs and social-networking sites by children has posed new challenges to parents seeking to prevent kids' access to inappropriate content or contact with creepy online adults.

A demo seen by IDG last Friday showed the application gives parents sweeping control over their child's activity.

It can be configured so a parent must approve adding a new person to a buddy list on an instant-messaging program. Search terms can be monitored as well as content posted on social-networking sites.

The application doesn't have a formal product name as of yet, said Con Mallon, product marketing director for Symantec's consumer division in Europe, on Friday. Symantec is terming it a "family online safety" program rather than the more negative term of "parental control."

Symantec plans to emphasise that parents and their children can collaborate on the limits they want to set for Internet access, Mallon said.

The program is Web-based and can be access through a Web browser, so parents have control even if they're not at home. After logging in, parents can click on a tab labeled "news" and see a list of recent actions by their child.

Those actions can include the creation of a new profile on MySpace, the last person the child sent an instant message to, a transcript of that conversation, the Web sites the child has either access or tried to access and the length of time online, among other metrics.

A client program must be installed on the PC the child uses, and actions done by the child on another PC can't be monitored, Mallon said.

Symantec hasn't decided how to market the program just yet. It could be wrapped into one of the company's security suites or sold as a stand-alone subscription service, Mallon said.

The application was rolled out within the last two weeks for Symantec employees, Mallon said. It will then be offered on a forthcoming website called the "Incubator" that Symantec plans to launch within the next two months.

That website will host programs that are "two steps before beta" for the public to test, Mallon said. After that, the family online safety application will go into beta, he said. A commercial release is planned before the end of March 2009.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?